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Who is behind Sketchnote Army?

Mike Rohde, creator: Designer, author of The Sketchnote Handbook & Workbook, and illustrator, living in Wisconsin.

Mauro Toselli, curator: IT Director, sketchnoter, author, living in Italy.

Binaebi Akah, curator: Sr. UX Designer, sketchnoter, author, living in Ohio.

How can I be showcased on Sketchnote Army?
Fill this form! It's as simple as that! We would love to feature your work.

You may be interested in

Sketchnoters' Stories - "Sketchnote is a Good Thing for Education" by Mary Ottenwess



Today's Sketchnoter is Mary Ottenwess and here is her story.



Sketchnote is a Good Thing for Education

I was first introduced to Sketchnoting at the 2015 MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) conference. I had seen sketchnotes before and they intrigued me but I had no idea how to get started. In that one hour session with Karen Bosch, I found a wonderful means of recording ideas, thoughts, quotes and inspirations in a format that I actually enjoyed reviewing and updating. My handwritten notes were always full of doodles in the margin and now I had a means to connect those doodles to the content. I’ve attended many conferences, meetings and webinars since then and I am usually sketchnoting. An artist I’m not but that’s the best part! You don’t have to be! With a few arrows, bullet points, lines and circles you can add some graphical elements that assist with retention of the material. With practice, and a great resource in the The Sketchnote Handbook, you too can be a sketchnoter!


I did a little research to discover why sketchnoting is a good thing for education. Dual coding theory, developed by Paivio (1971), explains that the brain uses two separate but interacting systems of storage for memory: what we hear and what we see. Looking at a visual representation of a concept presented during a lecture prompts the brain to recall the verbal portion. Two paths to a memory are better than one! I also watched Brandy Agerbeck’s Tedx Talk, Shape Your Thinking in which she pointed out that there are two types of thinkers, Auditory/Sequential who think in words and Visual/Spatial who think in pictures. Standard classroom note taking favors the auditory/sequential thinkers who make up only about 37% of the population. Sketchnoting would benefit the other 63% of learners who are more visual in their thinking. That sounded like something our teachers needed to know about. At our next PD session I introduced sketchnotes and the theory behind it. Our art teacher and the doodlers in the audience were intrigued. Next we demonstrated the concept to some of the students. Since we are a 1:1 iPad school our demo included various apps and styli that could be used with their iPads and they were able to choose what worked best for their notes.

Teacher Observation P1

Elizabeth Haley and Ana Mugica-Canos are both student sketchnoters using their iPads throughout their school day. Elizabeth likes sketchnoting because she can group topics by color and uses lines, arrows and brackets to link the concepts and highlight important ideas and has found sketchnoting to be a useful tool to make her notes a better study resource. Ana utilizes elements of sketchnoting for both her artwork and classroom notes. When asked why she enjoyed using the iPad and draw apps in this way she stated, “You can import pictures, so you can take pictures of assignments and notes and using the app, you can write directly on the notes or assignment in your own handwriting. You won't waste paper or supplies doing drafts, you can just edit away on one screen that has multiple layers that can all be edited.” Examples of student sketchnotes are included in my sketchnote Flickr album.

EHaleySketchnoteTeacher Observation P2


AMugicaCanos Sketchnotes

Sketchnotes are also great for classroom observations. I can draw the layout of the classroom, show teacher movement, idea connections and graphically illustrate student engagement with the content. This can be useful when redesigning the layout of the classroom for better movement and workflow. It’s been just a few short months since introducing sketchnoting to our staff and students but we have found the practice to be very beneficial!

Mary Ottenwess, Instructional Technology Specialist @cctechie,
Catholic Central High School



Very interesting and inspiring!

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Mary

- Mauro



Kano Talk Capture at Slush 2014: Kaili Kleemeier

Here a nice sketchnote by Kaili Kleemeier .

She wrote:

Created this sketchnote during Kano talk at Slush. Inspiring talk about creation of the company and why we should be giving children realistic and exciting inspiration about what they can be and do.

You can see other Kaili works on her Pinterest

Beautiful work Kaili!

- Mauro


Sketchnoters' Stories - Combining 2 passions: Sketchnote and Wine by Diana Meier-Soriat

Today's story is from Diana Meier-Soriat about how she combined her two passions.


2 in 1 – Combining two passions: Sketchnotes & Wine

When you can combine two passions, that’s when the good stuff happens, isn’t it? For me, my heart is in doodling and my heart is in drinking wine...

I started creating sketchnotes approximately one year ago. I became addicted to it and I can’t stop!

Working as Social Media Manager in the Wine Import Company Ludwig von Kapff in Germany I soon started to combine my love of wine with my love of sketchnotes.

I started off with simple wine tasting results in my Moleskine book and soon started to do some little doodles in the margins. In my nice Moleskine Wine Journal , I fill in all the information as well as little drawings here and there.

My first serious project was a drawing for a wine label. The wine was a GrünerVeltliner from an Austrian Winery which was to be distributed exclusively in Germany. The Marketing Team had different ideas but not one that we all could agree was truly great. So what did we do? We decided to use the heart and soulof the winery itself: 3 men (the father and two sons) who create wines with passion and love.

The simple drawingon the label shows Leopold, the father, and his two sons. The title “3 Haberer” can be translated into „3 guys“. It should be mentioned that “3 Haberer” is the Austrian term for 3 guys, a translation that perhaps not all Germans would understand. But the simple drawn label as well as the word “3 Haberer”is a perfect example of sketchnoting. It consists of the sketch as well as the words. This is all that defines the label. The result? Everybody knows the meaning. I am very proud of this project. It’s so much fun to see people buying and - above all - drinking this wine.

You can tell that I’m passionate about wine - there are so many things that I can say about it. Once I did a very quick sketchnote about the basic types of wines. I don’t consider it to be very artful – in fact I just drew it in between doing many other things. So I was really surprized how many people on the web shared this work. Even the app paper53 featured the drawing!I felt very honoured.


After this success describing wines with sketchnotes, we started to augment (“pimp”!) the wine descriptions with little drawings next to the bottles. People really loved it. Now when we organize wine tastings, we often make little notebooks that people can browse while trying their wines. It is such a fun way to entertain them!

We used this combination also for a very nice recipe booklet, where we offered recipes paired with the wines. As a nice team event, we even cooked at home for each other and added nice wine descriptions. It was so much fun and the combination of food, wine and sketchnotes was great.  

Sometimes I’m afraid that my work could be seen as a bit childish. But so far the response is quite the opposite. People are really happy about having something different and unique like the sketchnotes. We see this again and again.

We are all "visuals". We love things made visual.

- Diana


Such a lovely story, Diana!

Thank you for sharing with us!

- Mauro


Sketchnoting DIY Projects: Sachin Maheshwari

DIY project 1

Here a sketchnoted project by Sachin Maheshwari.

He wrote:

Playing table tennis is one of my favorite past time. So i thought of making a unique scoreboard to keep the score. Came up with this design, and got the entire process sketched. It was fun. Used a fine tip permanent marker and sketchbook to sketch.

Well done Sachin!

- Mauro



First Sketchnote: Cathy Kennedy

We are happy to feature Cathy Kennedy's first sketchnote!

She wrote:

Initially intimidated and embarrassed at my lack of confidence and skill, whilst in the same session as someone who clearly had oodles of expertise and experience!  Then as I started to relax, it started to flow a bit more freely and I actually found myself enjoying it.  Now I’ve picked up a few hints and tips (THANK YOU! to Chris Spalton) I’m looking forward to the next opportunity :-)

An amazing start Cathy, keep going!

- Mauro